Happy Book Lovers Day! That’s right! Today marks an unofficial holiday of picking up a book and reading the day away! But I’m not here to tell you what to do. . . okay, maybe I am . . . but it’s not what you think . . .
Celebrate by picking up a book you’ve already read and read it again!
Most of us don’t do that. We read one book and check it off our list, eager for the next best seller. Isn’t that just like us—wanting to be the first to hear the latest, first to know the greatest? Who wants to be left behind, or even second in line?
How many books have we reread?
I’d argue that a good book can be a different book altogether the second or third time around.
“To reread a book is to read a different book. The reader is different. The meaning is different.”
― Johnny Rich, The Human Script
“A truly great book should be read in youth, again in maturity and once more in old age, as a fine building should be seen by morning light, at noon and by moonlight.”
― Robertson Davies
“…the reader who plucks a book from her shelf only once is as deprived as the listener who, after attending a single performance of a Beethoven symphony, never hears it again.”
― Anne Fadiman, Rereadings: Seventeen Writers Revisit Books They Love
Our kids know this better than their adults.
I would cringe when my son would ask for In A People House, by Theo Le Sieg, for the zillionth time. I know that book better than my phone number. Come on over anytime and I’d be happy to read it to you with my eyes shut. (Little does he know he’s getting this for his next Father’s Day . . . it’s pay-back time!)
(Did you know LeSieg is the pen name used by Theodor Geisel for books written by him and illustrated by others? LeSieg is Geisel backwards. Mr. Geisel is best know by another pen name: Dr. Seuss.)
BUT we suffer through this because we know the benefits of rereading to kids are endless: comprehension, fluency, word recognition, language development, and the biggy—confidence for becoming a reader.
(And if you’re still not convinced, or need a little prodding to read it “one more time”, click here.)
I had the joy of seeing one of my best friends of all time this past week. We’ve been friends since Kindergarten! (Whoa!! Have we ever changed!!) We’ve had lots of visits over the years and each time we’re brought to different places of understanding, encouragement, and surprise. We always seem to learn something new about one another, even as we repeat certain stories. (Even though I’m absolutely, positively, pinky-swear-sure I had told her that one before.) Sometimes there are misunderstandings to get straightened out. There’s the laughing and crying that starts all over as we reminisce the times we could never forget. Each time we build another layer to our friendship and we’re richer for it. One visit just won’t do.
That’s how rereading can be—another visit and you’re richer for it.
So . . . no new recommendations this post! You’re on your own!
(Also, no new pictures. Aren’t they worth reseeing?)
Find that friend on the shelf that made you laugh, helped you cry, or cozied up with you on the couch. Enjoy another visit. And if you can’t think of one, I’m sure your kiddos can help!
Happy REreading, Book Lover!
I’m rereading an oldie I read as a child, to my 1st grade students 25 years ago, and now to my grandchildren—Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll.
What will you reread? What do your kids want read a zillion times?